Zumba craze helps local business expand

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 24, 2010

Katelyn Rider and Becky Garner enjoy a Zumba class Wednesday at Oasis. Oasis is working to expand its facilities. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News

Daphne Hardage, owner of Oasis Fitness Spa and Salon, said in order to meet the demand of participants in the fitness program she is dismantling her gym to make room for an exercise studio – not because another gym could be coming to Andalusia, as is rumored.

The Zumba program “fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness program that will blow you away. Our goal is simple: We want you to want to work out, to love working out, to get hooked,” the Zumba Web site says. “Zumba Fanatics achieve long-term benefits while experiencing an absolute blast in one exciting hour of calorie-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movements meant to engage and captivate for life.”

Hardage said her plans are to create an exercise studio “like you see in the larger cities.”

And her Zumba classes have been extremely successful.

“Some of our classes have 35 people in them,” she said. “That’s the problem. We don’t have the room for the people. Some people don’t come because there’s not enough room.

“We’re going to have a bigger room with the renovation.”

Hardage said the business currently offers Zumba five days a week – on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Thursdays at 3:45 p.m.; Fridays at 6:30 p.m.; and Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Hardage said aerobics and line dancing are also offered, and she plans to keep up with the trend and make available whatever exercise program is most popular.

Hardage said she is excited about the new changes.

“This is going to be better,” she said. “Our changes will allow more people to come.”

In addition to the additional exercise space, Hardage said she will also open up the front and put a clothing boutique inside.

The boutique will be named Lena Ellen, after Hardage’s mother.

“We already carry accessories,” she said.

“We have carried some clothes during the summer.”

Hardage said the boutique will open at the end of August and will carry name brand clothes.

“We will carry junior sizes up to plus sizes,” she said.

“We’ve already purchased the clothes. We’re just waiting on the remodel.”